Cyclone Batsirai: Initial Assessments Paint A Grim Picture As Another Cyclone Forms

The tropical cyclone Batsirai made landfall on 5th February at 2000hrs local time on the East coast of Madagascar. The north of the city of Mananjary is reported to be the most damaged area at more than 70%. 

The cyclone passed through the south part of the island and exited into the Mozambique channel. At CARE we are concerned about the compounded impact the Cyclone will have on the communities we work in especially on women and girls. A few weeks ago, Tropical Storm Ana hit parts of the country, and before there was time to fully recover Cyclone Batsirai made landfall. 

Monique Morazain, CARE Country Director in Madagascar said, "Assessments are still ongoing to determine the extent of the damage. As of now, 121 fatalities have been reported, over 27,048 displaced and 143,718 people affected. Humanitarian flight assessment reports indicate wind damage is at a radius of 30 to 50 km around Mananjary. The cyclone destroyed over 2,562 classrooms leaving over 20,000 students unable to continue with learning. Also, 69 health centres have been damaged. Beyond the 50-kilometre radius, the damage is immense. Rice fields, as well as houses, remain flooded over a week after the cyclone hit."

Before the Cyclone made landfall, CARE Madagascar had deployed two emergency response teams to Manakara (South-East) and to Vatomandry (East) where CARE has an operational presence and ongoing programming. Manakara, where the response team is located, is approximately 150kilometers from Mananjary. They have reported seeing roofs blown off houses, homes destroyed by mudslides, and windblown boulders as well as trees, blocking the roads.

CARE has identified four main response areas including Food, WASH, Dignity Kits, and shelter kits. Morazain says, "More resources will be needed to scale up the response based on the humanitarian needs analysis. The teams are working alongside the communities to identify and respond to the needs of the families."

Tropical Cyclone Dumako formed over the Indian Ocean on February 12th, 2022. At its present trajectory, it is forecasted to make landfall in Northeast Madagascar, over Sava or Analanjirofo region on February 15 with heavy rains. CARE is tracking and monitoring the situation as it evolves. CARE has an operational presence in the Northwest where the Cyclone is anticipated to exit.

For media inquiries, please contact David Mutua, CARE East, Central, and Southern Africa Regional Communications Manager, david.mutua@care.org